Time to be bad

There’s health for the body. But there’s also health for the spirit and the two don’t coexist. Time to be bad.

IT was the best laid schemes of mice and men. After a wretched year of studying full-time at university and working, my partner and I decided to take a health break in Bali. Ubud, in the mountains, is the capital of healthy living and detox. There are organic raw food restaurants, a daily supply of yoga classes, endless natural healing therapies, and massage. We found a lodge surrounded by nature, away from traffic fumes and the hustle and bustle, and allowed ourselves a couple of days to unwind.

I have a friend living by the sea in Seminyak, an hour or two away, which is the exclusive end of what we Australians know as Kuta beach. At his request we reluctantly decided to leave our retreat for one day and have lunch with him near his home on the beach.

Twelve days later we stumbled on to our plane, sodden with partying day and night, having eaten rich foods obsessively — and never having gone back to Ubud, sending a driver to retrieve our luggage instead.

My friend is a true party boy and knows lots of fun-loving expats living on the island. One of his friends is a famous chef to New York society and Hollywood celebrities who took a shine to us and decided to take us to the best restaurants run by his colleagues. One night he cooked us a feast. We also connected with people in the entertainment industry, hoteliers, and a crowd of people who knew how to live well.

It was 24/7 decadence and indulgence to the point that we never moved a muscle unless it was to get into a car, and never ate a vegetable unless it was swimming in cream sauce.

Yet I haven’t felt healthier in years. My body is considerably fatter, but my soul feels nourished. My stressed mind was soothed by pleasure and laughter, music and song, and I realised that the panacea to our tough, draining lives is not to go cold turkey and detox, but to find fun people and enjoy ourselves.

The food and wine was a bit over the top, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to run into a leading chef. But the being irresponsible and childish, the staying out late, getting the giggles, and singing old songs in the back of a car, just brightened my life and reminded me of the bliss we leave behind to grow up.

There’s health for the body, in the ‘‘Eat your spinach’’ vein. But there is also health for the mind and soul, and the two simply don’t meet. For the time being, I’m wearing my spare tyre like a ring reminding me of the good times I’ve just had before responsible, ‘‘sensible Ruth’’ gets me!



, , , , ,

6 Responses to Time to be bad

  1. Daniel 24 July 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    I also went to Bali for 8 nights recently. Was so relaxing and cheap. The people there were so friendly and the food was great. I stayed at Nusa Doa and had a great time. Would go back soon!

  2. Ruth Ostrow 18 July 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Thanks Kim! That’s why I wrote it

  3. Kim Oxley 17 July 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I felt better just reading this!

  4. Ruth Ostrow 17 July 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Thanks Shoshy I am very flattered

  5. shoshy 17 July 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    What a fun article, I envy you the attitude to be BAD occasionbally (not that having a party and eating are SO bad! } We do all deserve a bit of craziness and most people do not allow themselves to stray from the straight and narrow unfortunately. Mind you not everone has a famous chef as a friend and homes in Bali to enjoy. Love you girl!!!! Shoshi

  6. nomadd 17 July 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Glad you enjoyed yourself in Bali, maybe you were lucky to be invited to the party life, but why wait until you reach Bali to party. You can party anywhere.
    I too have been to Ubud and Bali and consider Bali to be the worst foreign country I have ever visited, and have no desire to ever go back there
    To me Bali appeared to be a meek ersatz replica of India, but without all the delightful attractions
    of real Hindu gods, colored paint throwing, elephants marching along the highways, and always endless festivals on every day of the week. .

Leave a Reply